There's been a lot of press recently about raising the wages for fast food workers to $15 an hour. If you want a sampling, click here for some quick aggregation via Google....
The move to raise wages in this fashion polarizes the dialog. Most people generally belong to one of two camps:
2. You've got a big heart. You like the idea and think it needs to happen. Who pays? Who cares? Get it done and let the economic impact fall where it may.
Of course, as with anything, there's a middle ground. Related to raising the wages of fast food workers to $15 an hour, I don't think it's safe to assume that employers would just pay the money and everything would remain the same.
Things I wonder about include:
1. The employment scene is a marketplace. If fast food workers are paid $15 per hour, does that mean fast food franchise owners now can hire different people? If so, that really doesn't help the people we thought we were helping.
2. What do owners get for their bigger investment? Seems like all the advocacy groups really don't talk about this. I think they should.
3. What's the impact on turnover? Cost of turnover studies are notoriously opinion-laded, swag-style guesses. If turnover doesn't really go down, the change would be a failure.
4. If owners get more productivity, can you staff a location with fewer people? That's a better way to get to the math.
Like the moderate Republican I am, I'm somewhere in the middle on this debate. I think the liberals making this call are missing the boat by not attempting to answer some of these questions and frame the argument as such. I think the pure Capitalists who are refusing to consider and cite the pure market forces are tone-deaf from watching too much Fox News.
The truth is somewhere in the middle. What business benefits happen with the move to $15 per hour? Prove the benefits or simply get to break even, and most reasonable people would support.
Refusing to talk about what business owners get for their money? Good luck with that stance - I wouldn't want you representing me.